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I'm confused. Does Glassfish come as part of the Java EE platform? Can you get Glassfish but not Java EE?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 15 down vote accepted

Glassfish is the reference implementation by Oracle for Java EE specifications. So, Java EE - a set of specifications for enterprise applications - is independent of Glassfish - a reference implementation for Java EE specifications.

Glassfish does not come as a part of Java EE as there are other Java EE implementations such as IBM's WebSphere. However, it is not possible to get Glassfish without Java EE as it is the reference implementation of Java EE specifications.

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+1 very clear. I'll add that other implementations include JBoss, WebLogic, and Geronimo. Tomcat and Jetty are implementations of the Servlet Spec, but do not implement all of Java EE –  Eric Wilson Aug 29 '11 at 1:13

Glassfish is an Apache Tomcat derived server coming in two flavors, Open Source and Oracle. It is typically used to run Java EE but doesn't appear to be totally limited to that language. You can get Glassfish by itself here. There is a fair amount of documentation about using Scala on it rather than Java. Support for other languages appears murky or non-existent.

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+1, just to add that Glassfish will host any jar/war in exactly the same way as Tomcat, so any language that targets JVM will work: Scheme, Jython, JRuby etc etc... –  Slomojo Aug 29 '11 at 0:10
@Slomojo Do you mean Scheme or Clojure? –  World Engineer Aug 29 '11 at 1:08
Actually I meant to type Scala, but yes Clojure would be fine (not Scheme of course, sorry!) –  Slomojo Aug 29 '11 at 1:30
Glassfish 3 does not have a Tomcat inside, to my knowledge –  user1249 Aug 29 '11 at 15:45

Java EE is an API, GlassFish is an implementation of that API.

Much in the same way that List is an interface, and that ArrayList implements that interface. (This is also why you cannot get ArrayList without getting List, and why you cannot get GlassFish without getting Java EE).

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Does Glassfish come as part of the Java EE platform?

No, Glassfish is an application server that fully implements all of the Java EE API and, thus, makes it fully Java EE compliant Application Server. This means that if you write a Java EE application, Glassfish will run it for you with ease (you will have to do minimal configuration, if not, none).

Can you get Glassfish but not Java EE?

Java EE is an API framework consistings of Java EE API's (JDBC, RMI, JPA, EJB, JMS, etc.). You can get Oracle Glassfish Server (that isn't JEE compliant). There are other JEE compliant Application Server on the market, such as JBoss Application Server, IBM Wesphere Application Server, etc.,

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